The man leading the report was infamous climatologist James Hansen, well-known
as being Al Gore's climate advisor; for his claims that
oil companies were committing "crimes against humanity" by doing
business; and for receiving a $250,000 grant from a
nonprofit run by the wife of Democratic Senator John Kerry.
Hansen states in the report, "If the warming trend continues, as is
expected, if greenhouse gases continue to increase, the 2010 record will not
stand for long."
Much uncertainty remains, however. NASA's data comes from 1000
meteorological stations around the world, satellite observations of sea surface
temperature, and Antarctic research station measurements. But NASA must
choose how to process that data when measurements conflict. In the past,
ground based stations have reportedly shown anomalous heating in select regions (such
as Russia), but NASA chose to throw out or reduce the statistical significance
of satellite measurements, which showed far cooler temperatures.
It is unknown if there are similar discrepancies in this year's temperatures,
but one would hope that the data is carefully scrutinized by independent
interests given Dr. Hansen's vested financial interest in showing the Earth is
warming and mankind is causing it.
If the NASA data holds up, the average surface temperature in 2010 was 1.34
degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the average temperature from 1951 to 1980.
Since the 1970s, NASA says statistics show the Earth to be warming 0.36 degrees
Fahrenheit a decade.
2010 was within 0.018 degrees Fahrenheit of 2005, the previous record holder,
earning it a tie. In a tie for third place are 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006,
2007 and 2009. NASA says its analysis closely matches separate analysis
from the Met Office Hadley Centre in the United Kingdom and the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center.
Dr. Hansen reports that the record warmth was especially exceptional given that
2010 was the start of a strong La Niña pattern, which brings cool sea
surface temperatures to the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean and should have
offered a cooler global temperature. He states, "Global temperature
is rising as fast in the past decade as in the prior two decades, despite
year-to-year fluctuations associated with the El Niño-La Niña cycle of tropical
While this data might worry some, it could actually be happy news for
mankind. The slow, gradual warming shown in the report would likely over
time open new shipping routes and improve
agricultural viability in many regions. While some areas might be
gradually rendered uninhabitable (e.g. small low-lying islands), humans would
naturally migrate to new homes, and the climate change would likely make some
previously minimally habitable regions more hospitable.
Loss of species from climate change has certainly been suggested as a possible
concern as well, but biodiversity in the Earth's warming periods has increased,
not decreased historically. Current temperatures are still far below
these epochs of lush biodiversity that lie in the Earth's distant past.
The destruction of the rainforest and pollution of the sea have been put on the
back burner during the climate debate, but represent far more serious immediate
threats to our planet's biodiversity.
Other pressing questions include how fast warming will proceed and what other
factors may be at play, besides greenhouse gases. A recent study suggests
that atmospheric dust levels may have significantly different effects on global temperature than
previously thought. Historical levels of atmospheric dust are poorly
understood. Further, it is unknown how much the Earth will dampen
temperature increases. Past history suggests that the Earth's biosphere
resists the kind of run-away warming some experts' models have predicted, at
least to a point.
Despite these distinctions, the NASA report is certainly intriguing and will
likely be keenly observed and analyzed by those in the fields of agriculture
and urban planning.
quote: what concerns me is the extreme colds and extreme hots and how long those heat and cold waves last.
quote: USA is the *only* country that even questions the data.
quote: "How do we take the temperature of a planet?".
quote: Also, do the great all-predictive climate models take into account warming due to heat transfer from the interior of the earth?
quote: If the human body temp is 5f hotter than normal, you can die.
quote: The Arctic ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consulafft, at Bergen, Norway. Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone. Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes.Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm. Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared.Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds.Within a few years it is predicted that due to the ice melt the sea will rise and make most coastal cities uninhabitable.
quote: If the climate changes from what it is now, then a lot of our unquestioned assumptions about how society works will be tested.
quote: humans would naturally migrate to new homes
quote: the climate change would likely make some previously minimally habitable regions more hospitable
quote: I'm glad that people in the USA will welcome people migrating from Mexico as the temperature there risks becoming unbearable,
quote: There is temperature and atmospheric oxygen and carbon content evidence for much the Earth's history, actually.
quote: And we have no data from the past 10,000 plus years to compare it to, to say that is is not just some cyclical trend.
quote: So where do the 1934/1998/2010 warm years rank in the long-term list of warm years? Of the past 10,500 years, 9,100 were warmer than 1934/1998/2010. Thus, regardless of which year ( 1934, 1998, or 2010) turns out to be the warmest of the past century, that year will rank number 9,099 in the long-term list.The climate has been warming slowly since the Little Ice Age (Fig. 5), but it has quite a ways to go yet before reaching the temperature levels that persisted for nearly all of the past 10,500 years.
quote: however, the "greenhouse effect" has been proven on a smaller scale to be real, rather than imagined.
quote: While this data might worry some, it could actually be happy news for mankind. The slow, gradual warming shown in the report would likely over time open new shipping routes and improve agricultural viability in many regions. While some areas might be gradually rendered uninhabitable (e.g. small low-lying islands), humans would naturally migrate to new homes, and the climate change would likely make some previously minimally habitable regions more hospitable.
quote: Except a warming trend would likely be exponentaial over time, so any short term "benifit" would very quickly be offset. IE: Less ice would darken the earth, and as we all learned in basic chemistry: White reflects, black absorbs.
quote: I also find it hilarious that the author points out the "financial interests" in "proving" GW, but fails to cite any such interest, or point out those same interests for those hoping to prove the exact opposite.
quote: don't write it at all.
quote: Please follow your own advise.