If It???s That Warm…

How Come It???s So Cold?

An article entitled: 2009 temperatures by Jim Hansen at RealClimate.org by James Hansen, Reto Ruedy, Makiko Sato, and Ken Lo
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This unique website is a real find for the staff at Temperatures.com, Inc. It’s about Climate Science by Climate Scientists for journalists and the interested public; a bit of a meaty bite for the layperson, but a treasure trove of detailled data, insights and conclusions about the issues and facts of Climate change.

Here’s a few quotes from this headlined report, slightly rearranged and emphasis added where it seemed appropriate for easier reading online:

The past year, 2009, tied as the second warmest year in the 130 years of global instrumental temperature records, in the surface temperature analysis of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS).

The Southern Hemisphere set a record as the warmest year for that half of the world. Global mean temperature, as shown in Figure 1a, was 0.57 ??C (1.0 ??F) warmer than climatology (the 1951-1980 base period). Southern Hemisphere mean temperature, as shown in Figure 1b, was 0.49 ??C (0.88 ??F) warmer than in the period of climatology…

The 2-sigma error in the 5-year running – mean temperature anomaly shown in Figure 2, is about a factor of two smaller than the annual mean uncertainty, thus 0.02 – 0.03 ??C. Given that the change of 5-year running-mean global temperature anomaly is about 0.2 ??C over the past decade, we can conclude that the world has become warmer over the past decade, not cooler….

The bottom line is this: there is no global cooling trend. For the time being, until humanity brings its greenhouse gas emissions under control, we can expect each decade to be warmer than the preceding one. Weather fluctuations certainly exceed local temperature changes over the past half century. But the perceptive person should be able to see that climate is warming on decadal time scales.


Hansen, J.E., and S. Lebedeff, 1987: Global trends of measured surface air temperature. J. Geophys. Res., 92, 13345?13372.
Hansen, J., R. Ruedy, J. Glascoe, and Mki. Sato, 1999: GISS analysis of surface temperature change. J. Geophys. Res., 104, 30997?31022.
Hansen, J.E., R. Ruedy, Mki. Sato, M. Imhoff, W. Lawrence, D. Easterling, T. Peterson, and T. Karl, 2001: A closer look at United States and global surface temperature change. J. Geophys. Res., 106, 23947?23963.
Hansen, J., Mki. Sato, R. Ruedy, K. Lo, D.W. Lea, and M. Medina-Elizade, 2006: Global temperature change. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 103, 14288-14293.

RealClimate is a commentary site on climate science by working climate scientists for the interested public and journalists. We aim to provide a quick response to developing stories and provide the context sometimes missing in mainstream commentary. The discussion here is restricted to scientific topics and will not get involved in any political or economic implications of the science. All posts are signed by the author(s), except ???group??? posts which are collective efforts from the whole team. This is a moderated forum.

James E. (Jim) Hansen heads the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City, a part of the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, Earth Sciences Division. He has held this position since 1981. He is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University. Hansen is best known for his research in the field of climatology, his testimony on climate change to congressional committees in 1988 that helped raise broad awareness of global warming, and his advocacy of action to limit the impacts of climate change. Courtesy: Wikipedia.com)

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