Monday, August 9, 2010
NOAA Confirms Presence of Global Warming
This is a welcome piece from NOAA. It generally confirms that the global climate has warmed over the past three decades. Presently it appears to be on a slight downtrend for the past decade, but still well above the preceding norms. Enough to nicely eliminate the attempt to link it all to CO2 but not sufficient to claim that the general warming is now over.
We still have no particular comfort regarding causation but we do now have comfort that for the past thirty years we have been able to measure enough variables properly so that when the next cooling event come on, we will figure it all out.
I am more and more inclined to think that the global climate system if left undisturbed will rise to levels a half degree warmer than present. We have been undisturbed many times for great periods of time. Yet when disturbed, we are knocked back sharply.
The Arctic sea ice is now degrading heavily and we are losing huge swathes of freed multi year ice this year. As posted before, mass loss has been consistent for three decades. Because of that, I projected that the bulk would be gone by 2012 back in 2007. I did this before NASA came out and said the same thing (likely because they did not want to say it first) . The press has yet to pick up on all this
If we are now irretrievably losing a third or so of the remaining multi year ice this year alone then we are very much on schedule. Commencing in 20012 we will have a decade of open late summer waters throughout the Arctic with only swathes of one and two year ice to knock though from time to time depending on winds.
Global warming is 'undeniable', says NOAA
Jul 29, 2010
The 2009 State of the Climate report, issued on 28 July by the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is unequivocal: the past decade was Earth's warmest on record, continuing a 50-year trend. US
The report is "an annual scorecard for the climate system", incorporating every type of measurement from around the world, says Tom Karl, transitional head of NOAA's proposed Climate Service.
In a conference call briefing for reporters, Karl said the 218pp report has 303 authors from 48 countries, all of whom worked under extreme time pressure to complete it in a timely manner.
Deke Arndt, of NOAA's National Climatic Data Center, described the report as normally like the annual check-up one might receive at a doctor's office, "but because 2009 was the end of a decade, we wanted to take stock of a longer term view", just as one might at one's medical check-up in a decadal birthday year. To do so, the authors focused on 10 key indicators of climate change, using multiple data-sets to track each indicator over several decades.
The climate-indicators project was led by the
Met Office. Peter Thorne, then at the Met Office and now with the Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites, told reporters that it is difficult to keep track of the massive amount of climate data arriving daily, so scientists decided to step back and look at the proverbial forest, rather than at individual trees. They identified the key indicators as: UK
· Near-surface (tropospheric) temperature
· Specific humidity
· Ocean heat content
· Sea level
· Sea-surface temperature
· Temperature over the ocean
· Temperature over land
· Snow cover
· Sea ice
"Together with colleagues from around the world, we then went out and found, to our knowledge, every existing scientific analysis of global-scale changes in these indicators," Thorne said.
"These produced a compelling picture of our changing climate. Each indicator is changing as we would expect if the world truly were warming," continued Thorne. "The bottom-line conclusion that the world has been warming is simply undeniable."
Scientists at the briefing emphasized the role of the ocean, which absorbs over 93% of Earth's warming and, in particular, the role of the
Arctic in determining global climate. The decline of Arctic summer sea ice over three decades, and especially 2000–2009, has been "dramatic", said Walt Meier of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences and National Snow and . In addition, accelerated glacial loss, especially in Ice Data Center Greenland, was the major contributor to sea-level rise over the past decade, he said.
"Greenland has actually been quite a surprise for us, because of these new measurements, in terms of how fast it has been moving mass," said Meier. In short, he said: "The Arctic is not at all like
. What happens in the Arctic doesn't stay in the Arctic, and that's one of the reasons why the Las Vegas Arctic is a big concern and why it's an indicator of what we expect to see in the future."
Asked whether human activity is the cause of the observed warming, Karl said that this annual report has traditionally been limited to observations, including of atmospheric composition. It does not seek "to make the link between the cause and what we observe," he said, "but this is the basis for the next step, because without this data, it's impossible to take the next step".
As in previous years, the 2009 report has been published as a peer-reviewed supplement to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS).