Wednesday, January 14, 2009

2008 Ties 2001 for 8th Place on Warmest Year List

Analysis of preliminary global temperature data by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) found that 2008 was the eighth warmest year since 1880, tying 2001 for the honor. According to NOAA, over the last three decades the global temperature has been increasing by 0.29 degree F (or 0.16 degree C) per decade. Using a different method of analysis but the same data NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies found that 2008 was the ninth warmest year. In any event, the data show that compared to a few decades ago the planet is rapidly heating up and projections are that we “haven’t seen nothin’ yet.” In fact, Purdue University climate scientist Matthew Huber, who applies climate models to past climates says that these models may be underestimating future warming. The NZHerald, a New Zealand website, reports that Huber used one of the same models used by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) but to make predictions of warming during a warming period 55 million years ago when there was a similar rapid increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and found the temperatures predicted by the model were lower than what actually occurred. The NZHerald site reported that Huber thinks his finding shows that the model is probably predicting temperatures on the low side during the current period of global warming. Yet more evidence that the IPCC has been underestimating the global predicament that we have created.

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