Report: 2000s were warmest decade on record, global warming 'undeniable'
Excellent timing, NOAA.
As the nation swelters through what will likely be one of the hottest months in U.S. history, a new report released today by federal government scientists says that the decade from 2000-2009 was the Earth's warmest on record.
Global weather records go back to 1880.
The new climate report, entitled the 2009 State of the Climate, also states that "global warming is undeniable."
Each of the last three decades has been much warmer than the decade before, it reports. At the time, the 1980 was the hottest decade on record. In the 1990s, every year was warmer than the average of the previous decade. And the 2000s were warmer still.
Specifically, the decade of the 2000s had a surface global temperature that was 0.96°F above the long-term (20th century) average. This shattered the 1990s value of 0.65°F above average, according to Thomas C. Patterson, chief scientist at the National Climatic Data Center.
The report was released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and published as a supplement to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.
The report focused on 10 indicators of a warming world, seven which are increasing and three declining. Rising over the decades are average air temperature, the ratio of water vapor to air, ocean heat content, sea-surface temperature, sea level, air temperature over the ocean and air temperature over land.
Indicators that are declining are snow cover, glaciers and sea ice.
"The temperature increase of one degree Fahrenheit over the past 50 years may seem small, but it has already altered our planet," said Deke Arndt, co-editor of the report and chief of the Climate Monitoring Branch of the data center.
"Glaciers and sea ice are melting, heavy rainfall is intensifying and heat waves are more common," he says.
Last month was the warmest June on record and this year has had the warmest average temperature for January-June since record keeping began, NOAA reported last week.
By Doyle Ricehttp://content.usatoday.com/communities/...ade-on-record/1