Science Update: Warmest Decade Confirmed

by Bill Chameides | September 9th, 2008
posted by Erica Rowell (Editor)

Permalink | 2 comments

Two weeks ago I reported that the winter of 2008 was the coolest in the past five years. I pointed out that that doesn’t mean the globe is cooling. A single cool winter or year or even a few years “doesn’t a climate trend make.” A review of temperature records on longer time scales shows that the globe is indeed warming.

That conclusion is now even more solid as a result of a paper [pdf] just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: the data show that the past decade has not only been the warmest for the last century but for the last 1,300 years.

filed under: faculty, global warming


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  1. Daniel Wedgewood
    Sep 10, 2008

    Dr. Chameides – How many years have to pass before the label “climate trend” can be reasonably applied? What does the “warmest decade” in the past 1,300 years tell us? It seems that you could equally well ask the question “what did the warmest decade in the past 5000 years tell us?” Since the “warmest decade” in the last 5000 years was greater than in the past decade, doesn’t that diminish the “last 1,300 years” argument? – Dan” title=”How long is long enough?

    • Erica Rowell
      Sep 11, 2008

      Dr. Chameides responds – These long-term trends tell us that there is indeed an anomalous warming occurring now, and they illustrate that a brief downward tack in temperatures is not a sign that global warming is “history.”” title=”Long-term trends

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