Friday, January 21, 2011

Think its cold? Not so much in the Arctic.

Those who cannot accept a warming world probably take comfort in local cold and snow in the US and Europe, and use current local weather to dismiss reports that globally 2010 tied with 2005 for the hottest year on record . But what has this winter really been like from a global perspective.
Well here is November 2010's temperature anomaly (compared to 1951-1980 data):
Departure from 1951-1980 mean for November 2010, in degrees C Click for larger image..  
And here's the same for December:
Departure from 1951-1980 mean for December 2010, in degrees C. Click for larger image.
Notice that the Arctic is significantly warmer than the reference period.  This is reflected by the near record low amount of Arctic sea ice. Here is the Arctic Sea ice coverage trend as of today from the National Snow and Ice Data Center:
Meanwhile, the observatory at Mauna Loa reports the mean atmospheric CO2 for December at 389.69 ppm. This continues the steady upward trend for the decade:

Now causality does not equal causation, but since we have established well back in the nineteenth that atmospheric carbon dioxide absorbs IR energy, a correlation between warming and CO2 is to be expected by the rational observer. This does not mean that the increase in CO2 for November and December are in lockstep, but the ever increasing carbon dioxide will be reflected over time by more and more positive temperature anomalies.

So right now, business as usual rules, in our actions and in the climatic response.

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