Since there is little to no weather to discuss the next few days…I figured this should generate some discussion instead. Plus I’ve always been a bit of a trouble-causer.
NOAA put out a press release today announcing their State of the Climate 2009 report. It says the past decade as the warmest on record. Here’s a graph that goes with it:
You can click on the graph to get a better view, otherwise it looks a bit messy. I don’t talk about human-caused global warming much on TV (actually only about once every few years) because I’m not totally sold on a “doomsday” scenario, and it’s not exactly a sexy TV topic. I generally trust my scientific and academic colleagues though. BUT, I’m definitely not a skeptic either…let the scientists do their jobs and leave politics, religion, and personal beliefs out of it.
That aside now, it’s pretty obvious that we’ve had year after year of warm conditions the last decade, including this year. Even the La Nina years and solar minimum haven’t put too much of a dent in the trend (so far! we’ll see after the next 12-24 months).
You could read the last 15 years of that graph several ways I suppose: The warming has levelled off and we’re headed for a cooler regime, or the warming has levelled off and we’ll soon resume the warming again. Either way I’ve heard reference more than once by media-types (usually talk radio folks) saying that we’ve actually cooled the last 10 years? I have no idea how that can be considered a valid statement. How do you get that without involving some sort of conspiracy theory? Not sure. But as you can see, lots to discuss.
To keep things under control, I’ll delete any comments that reference: Political parties or politics of any sort, personal attacks, Big Oil, Al Gore, crazed sex poodle, etc… The discussion needs to be about data and science only.
Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen