The Earth Is Heating Up

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On January 15, 2020, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported: Earth’s warming trend continued in 2019, making it the second-hottest year in NOAA’s 140-year climate record just behind 2016. … just 0.07 of a degree F (0.04 of a degree C) cooler than the 2016 record.”

The world’s five warmest years have all occurred since 2015 with nine of the 10 warmest years occurring since 2005, according to scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI).

And “The period 2001-2010 (0.490°C above the 1961-90 average) was 0.216°C warmer than the 1991-2000 decade (0.274°C above the 1961-90 average).”

Hence warming has continued beyond the decades prior to 2010.

Further, temperature record varies by year. So real climate scientists show the trend over longer periods as well as establishing recent trends. Thus, the data shows 2019 “was also the 43rd consecutive year with global land and ocean temperatures, at least nominally, above average.”

The last 19 hottest years have occurred in the 21st (this) century.
The current consensus is “Increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere due to human activities are most likely the underlying cause of warming in the 20th and 21st centuries.

The warmth or coldness of individual years is strongly influenced by whether there was an El Niño or a La Niña event occurring in the equatorial Pacific Ocean (See this link for an explanation of this El Niño/La Niña effect. )

Ocean heat content, which describes the amount of heat stored in the upper-levels of the ocean, was the highest ever recorded in 2019. High ocean-heat content can contribute to sea-level rise.

The declining state of sea ice: Polar sea ice coverage continued its downward trend in 2019. Both the Arctic and Antarctic oceans recorded their second-smallest average annual sea-ice coverage during the 1979–2019 period of record.

December 2019 was near-record warm: The month was in fact Earth’s second-hottest December on record, logging an average temperature 1.89 degrees F (1.05 degrees C) above the 20th-century average. Only December 2015 was warmer.

In a database of 3,116 cities provided by AccuWeather, about 90 percent of them were warmer than normal. Enter your city at the link to see how much warmer than normal it was in 2015. (Missoula, MT was 1.4 degrees hotter with 7  record highs and no record lows.)

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Link showing how denialists misuse statistics to wrongly contend  that the earth’s not warming.

2014 Columbia River Gorge Forest Fire
2014 Columbia River Gorge Forest Fire. Photo used by permission of Gary Braasch. For more pictures by Gary on effects of climate change click here.

Page updated 2/9/2020.



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