Sorry deniers, Hadley Center and WMO say 2000s are easily the hottest decade in recorded history

Last week, I pointed out that the climate story of the decade is that the 2000s are on track to be nearly 0.2°C warmer than the 1990s (see “Very warm 2008 makes this the hottest decade in recorded history by far“).

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reported today that because humans are altering the climate with greenhouse gas emissions:

The ten warmest years on record have occurred since 1997. Global temperatures for 2000-2008 now stand almost 0.2 °C warmer than the average for the decade 1990-1999.

Global annual ranked HadCRUT2What of 2008?

The “climate scientists at the Met Office Hadley Centre and the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at University of East Anglia” who maintain the global climate record for the WMO concluded 2008 is “the tenth warmest year on a record that dates back to 1850”:

They say this figure is slightly down on earlier years this century partly because of the La Ni±a that developed in the Pacific Ocean during 2007.

La Ni±a events typically coincide with cooler global temperatures, and 2008 is slightly cooler than the norm under current climate conditions. Professor Phil Jones at the CRU said: “The most important component of year-to-year variability in global average temperatures is the phase and amplitude of equatorial sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific that lead to La Ni±a and El Ni±o events”.

Dr Peter Stott of the Met Office says our actions are making the difference: “Human influence, particularly emission of greenhouse gases, has greatly increased the chance of having such warm years. Comparing observations with the expected response to man-made and natural drivers of climate change it is shown that global temperature is now over 0.7 °C warmer than if humans were not altering the climate.”

Calculating the changing risk attributable to human influence is part of an ongoing collaboration between the Met Office Hadley Centre and the University of Oxford. Commenting on the dramatically increased odds of such warm years because of human induced climate change, Dr Myles Allen from Oxford University said: “Globally this year would have been considered warm, even as recently as the 1970s or 1980s, but a scorcher for our Victorian ancestors.”

Put another way, 2008 will be almost 0.1°C warmer than the decade of the 1990s as a whole.

Beneath the underlying warming, temperature continues to fluctuate from year to year as a result of natural variations. Stott added: “As a result of climate change, what would once have been an exceptionally unusual year has now become quite normal. Without human influence on climate change we would be more than 50 times less likely of seeing a year as warm as 2008.”

And once again, for all the deniers and delayers touting the coolest year of the decade (if the decade starts in 2001) meme, I stand by my offer to bet $1000 that the decade from 2010 to 2019 will be warmer than the decade from 2000 to 2009. I’ll even give you 2-to-1 odds or spot you 0.1°C. And I’ll even agree to use the HadCRUT3 global mean surface temperature data set.

Why are there no takers? I get so many of you posting your nonsense on the blog. Are you knowingly blowing smoke, posting irrelevant or erroneous things when you know all along humans are warming the planet?

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9 Responses to Sorry deniers, Hadley Center and WMO say 2000s are easily the hottest decade in recorded history

  1. I trust that neither you nor deniers are most interested in winning a thousand dollar bet.

    However, gambling is going on here. And the betting-by-behavior seems to continue with a potential downside that is stupendous.

    What would a real professional gambler say about this great game?

  2. Bob Wallace says:

    I suspect a large number of “deniers” are middle-aged or older guys who don’t care all that much what happens to their children and grandchildren. (If they even have any).

    If so, there aren’t any really significant long term consequences for them.

    For them, the great game is for the pot now on the table….

  3. Brooks B says:

    Intrade has the following prediction market item:

    Average Global Temperature for 2008 to be among five warmest years on record

    Intrade site says: “This market was suggested by Dan Kirshner.”

    Perhaps you could advise them on defining a new prediction. It would probably have a wider audience than your blog; certainly a different audience. Yet another way to raise awareness.

  4. Bob Wallace says:

    Intrade is selling “hotter than 1998, 2005, 2002, 2003, 2004”. No one seems to be willing to buy that one.

    Am I reading that correctly?

  5. DavidONE says:

    That’s the first time I’ve seen annual temperatures laid out like that. Terrifying.

    Now cue the Deniers: “Are you blind! 1998 is the hottest – the temperature is going DOWN!!1!”

  6. jorleh says:

    The energy to melt ice to water and warm up this water to 15 degree Celcius must be millions of TWh´s, and this energy is out of the global warming. Who can calculate this amount of energy?

  7. Bob Wallace says:

    Joe – You’ve got ’empty space’ along the side of the page, below Links.

    What about placing thumbnails of important figures such as this one in that space? Often good information falls off into oblivion….

  8. DonaldB says:

    Bob’s suggestion seems good; I would add the request to put a thumbnail of the last 20,000 year temperature variation chart there also.

  9. DonaldB says:

    I just remembered that you do have the chart I mentioned as Best PPTs #1; maybe if this ranking chart is not felt to be appropriately made into a thumbnail, it can be a candidate for PPT #2?