Weather you believe it or not (pun intended)

15 07 2013
And another great post by Mark Cochrane……..

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), with membership o 191 countries, has recently released a summary report of weather observations over the last decade (2001-2010) in the context of all weather observations to date. The summary report “The Global Climate 2001-2010: A decade of climate extremes” can be found here.

Below I provide several excerpts from the report and comments.

Nine of the decade’s years were among the 10 warmest on record. The warmest year ever recorded was 2010

Note, they (the WMO) are doing a decadal analysis, so they did not include any data from 2011–2013, which have been warmer yet. In case you are wondering about that one year last decade that wasn’t in the top ten of all recorded years…

The least warm year was 2008, with an estimated anomaly of +0.38°C, but this was enough to make 2008 the warmest La Niña year on record.

La Niña years bring cold water to the surface across the equatorial pacific and act like a giant chiller for the planet. We are now getting the warmest ‘cold’ years as well as the warmest warm years.

The report rightly cites the amount of year to year noise in temperature data and therefore they suggest using decadal averages of temperatures to help separate the signal from the noise in global temperatures. The figure below comes from the report but via the Washington Post (link). The values given are global average temperatures for each decade. In the report they also provide a table with the temperatures broken out by Northern and Southern Hemisphere and over land or over water temperatures. It doesn’t matter where you are, the temperature has been going up over land and water, with more heating in the Northern Hemisphere than the Southern Hemisphere because there is a greater proportion of water to land down south.

Also:

The warmest worldwide land-only surface-air temperature was recorded in 2007, with a temperature anomaly of +0.95°C. The warmest worldwide ocean-only surface temperature was measured in 2003, with an anomaly of +0.4°C above the 1961–1990 average. This is consistent with climate-change science, which projects that the ocean surface will warm more slowly than the land because much of the additional heat will be transported down into the ocean depths or lost through evaporation.

and globally:

Greenland recorded the world’s largest decadal mean temperature anomaly of +1.71°C.

The report goes on to highlight some of the weather-related impacts seen around the globe during the most recent decade.

the 2003 summer heatwave over much of Europe, which caused more than 66,000 deaths; and the exceptionally intense and long-lasting heatwave that struck the Russian Federation in July/August 2010, causing over 55 000 deaths.

According to the WMO survey, floods were the most frequently experienced extreme event over the course of the decade. Eastern Europe was particularly affected in 2001 and 2005, India in 2005, Africa in 2008, Asia (notably Pakistan, where 2 000 people died and 20 million were affected) in 2010, and Australia, also in 2010. In addition, many flash floods with landslides were reported by other countries.

Droughts affect more people than any other kind of natural disaster owing to their large scale and long-lasting nature. The decade 2001–2010 saw droughts occur in all parts of the world. Some of the highest-impact and long-term droughts struck Australia (in 2002 but also in other years), East Africa (2004 and 2005, resulting in widespread loss of life and food shortages) and the Amazon Basin (2010).

According to NOAA-NCDC, 2001–2010 was the most active decade since 1855 for tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic Basin. An average of 15 named storms per year was recorded, well above the 1981–2010 long-term average of 12 named storms per year.

The litany goes on as you can read in the report.

Each of you can decide for yourselves whether any of this rises to the level of ‘proof’ or ‘evidence’ of climate change.

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