World Warming Quicker than Previously Thought

hot planet

Over the past decade, the world has actually warmed more than previously thought, according to a new report out by the Met Office. And as I hinted in a recent post — Top 10 Climate Science News of 2010 there are a lot of scientific findings from the past year that show even stronger evidence of human-caused global climate change than we had available to us a year ago.

Does it matter to those who are not willing to believe that we are creating serious environmental and climate change that will crush the livability and quality of life of future generations? No. They can just dig deeper into their chest of denial. But can it help all those who are unclear on the issues to get to work supporting and creating highly needed climate action? I hope so.

As I’ve already noted, 2010 is the hottest year on record so far, according to NASA. This is something climate scientists expected based on their scientific work over the course of decades learning more and more about the large variety of factors that affect out climate. Whether it ends up being the hottest year on record or not, it is clearly going to be one of the hottest and has set numerous new records.

Here’s more info on the new findings from the Met Office, via The Guardian:

The Met Office report includes a new study which shows that sea surface temperatures were higher than initially thought because of a change in the way the temperatures were measured after 2000. The new analysis significantly increases the warming scientists think was seen globally over the past decade.

The work is significant because the rate of global warming from 2000-2009 is lower than the 0.16C per decade trend seen since the late 1970s, a fact climate scientists have been keen to explain. Including the new sea surface temperatures, which push up global temperatures by 0.03C, the warming rate for the past 10 years is estimated at 0.08-0.16C. The new analysis of sea surface temperatures adjusts underestimates which arose from the change from predominantly ship-based temperature measurements before 2000 to mostly buoy-based measurements afterwards.

The Met Office’s Dr Vicky Pope added that there were good explanations why warming had slowed over the past 10 years. Natural variation alone in the chaotic climate system would produce such a slowing every eight decades, even with the long-term warming trend seen. Other factors include changes in solar activity, the increased water vapour that can be held by warmer air and soot and other particles produced by fossil fuel and wood burning in Asia.

Dr Pope said there was no doubt that the past decade was on average hotter than the 1990s. On the apparent contradiction between the faster loss of sea ice and the less rapid rise in temperatures this decade, she said: “This is entirely consistent with our understanding of how the climate behaves and with our model projections.”

As I have shared before here on Planetsave, Dr Pope noted that there are numerous indicators of climate change, with multiple datasets for each available for cross-comparison, showing that humans are causing global climate change. It is time for us to wake up on this matter and get to work stopping it, unless we really don’t care about the future of our children and the lives of humans and animals around the world.

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Photo Credit: Roberto Rizzato ►pix jockey◄ Facebook resident via flickr (CC license)

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