RealClimate has a great post, “Mind the Gap!” that explains some of the confusion about recent temperature trends.
Two key datasets, from the UK’s Hadley Centre and NASA show warming, as I’ve noted before. But “there are no permanent weather stations in the Arctic Ocean, the place on Earth that has been warming fastest. The Hadley record simply excludes this area, whereas the NASA version assumes its surface temperature is the same as that of the nearest land-based stations.” Even so, the Hadley data clearly show the planet is warming, see “Hadley Center to deniers: We are STILL warming.”
It is possible to reconstruct the recent warming in the Arctic and use that to fill in the gaps. The National Weather Service’s National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) has done just such a reanalysis:
As RealClimate explains: “The animated figure shows the temperature difference between the two 5-year periods 1999–2003 and 2004–2008. Such results do not show the long-term trends, but it’s a fact that there have been high temperatures in the Arctic during the recent years.”
RealClimate further notes that “the low Arctic sea-ice extent over the last summers are independent evidence of high Arctic temperatures.”
If three decades of dawdling had left us any time to convince the unconvincable deniers and delayers, you might say wait for the next decade, which is likely to see truly soaring temperatures, painfully obvious for all to feel (see “Nature article on ‘cooling’ confuses media, deniers: Next decade may see rapid warming”).
But the planet’s warming continues unabated, and the time to act is now.
- Yes, the planet has kept warming since 1998
- Yes, the globe is warming. But how fast?
- This just in: Great Ice Age of 2008 is STILL over
- Hansen throws cold water on cooling climate claim
- Where is the media on the incredible warming and extreme weather of February?
- Media enable denier spin 1: A (sort of) cold January doesn’t mean climate stopped warming
- No warming since 1998? Get real, deniers!
- NASA: 2007 Second Warmest Year Ever, with Record Warmth Likely by 2010
- Climate Forecast: Hot — and then Very Hot.”