Throughout 2008 and 2009, many conservative pundits spent some effort in trying to convince us that the world was in a “cooling trend.” 2008 and 2009, while still among the warmest years on record, were a bit cooler than a few of the other years in the first decade of the 21st Century.
Any natural process is going to have random-walk anomalies. So climate scientists remained convinced that the trend in global temperatures remained upward. What does 2010 do to the picture?
Although the December data has yet to be released the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration stated that for January through November, “the combined global land and ocean surface temperature was…the warmest such period since records began in 1880.”
How about “Climategate?” Didn’t those leaked emails prove the historical data had been fudged? No, they didn’t. This is a persistent meme, but it’s not true. The memos showed, if anything, some intra- and inter-agency political rivalries and in-fighting. But there is no evidence whatever of dishonest data manipulation.
But even if we did want to believe the temperature record in the pre-2010 data had been artificially inflated, that would merely mean 2010 was even warmer (in relation to the past) than the accepted data shows. It would mean the Earth is warming even faster than climate scientists had thought.
Even back in July, it was realized we were on track for a record:
Global temperatures in the first half of the year were the hottest since records began more than a century ago, according to two of the world’s leading climate research centres.
Scientists have also released what they described as the “best evidence yet” of rising long-term temperatures. The report is the first to collate 11 different indicators—from air and sea temperatures to melting ice—each one based on between three and seven data sets, dating back to between 1850 and the 1970s.
And, for your amusement, here is a really cool interactive map from NASA, showing global temperature changes by decade, 1880–2009. It’s hard to argue with scientific data in visual form.
- How will we know 2010 was warmest? (climatecentral.org)
- “2010 Global temperatures in top 3 warmest on record – WMO” and related posts (sciencemediacentre.co.nz)
- With climate change, long-term trends are key (voices.washingtonpost.com)
- That snow outside is what global warming looks like (bemoreeco.com)
- The deniers were half right: The Met Office Hadley Centre had flawed data – but it led them to UNDERestimate the rate of recent global warming (climateprogress.org)
- Top 10 Global Climate Change Indicators according to the NOAA (greenfudge.org)
- World on course for hottest year since 1880 (telegraph.co.uk)
- 2010: the warmest year on record that wasn’t (theblogprof.blogspot.com)
- 2010: The Warmest Year in NASA’s 130-Year Record (littlegreenfootballs.com)
- 2010 On Pace to Be Warmest on Record, NASA Says (green.blogs.nytimes.com)