Monday, January 18, 2010

Global Warming Not Abating

If you didn't know his modus operandi, you would think it was just a matter of bad timing. On January 15 Rush Limbaugh referred to an article in the North Florida Herald and said

Oh, by the way, a little weather. North Florida has the longest stretch of cold weather in 100 years. North Florida, the longest stretch of cold weather in 100 years. "National Weather Service Meteorologist Jason Hess said that it’s the length of the cold that is most significant. 'This is the longest stretch ever in 100 years of record keeping,'" in the midst of climate change and global warming.

However, on January 13 Science magazine reported that it

has obtained exclusive data from NASA that indicates that 2009 was the hottest year on record south of the Equator.

Last month, the World Meterological Association noted

The decade of the 2000s (2000–2009) was warmer than the decade spanning the 1990s (1990–1999), which in turn was warmer than the 1980s (1980–1989).

Also in December, the National Climactic Data Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found not only that the decade of the 2000s was the warmest on record (since the 1880s) but that each year of the last decade ranked among the ten warmest years of that 130-year period. Not only has there been a significant rise in temperature, but one which NOAA argued would have been predicted on the basis of human activity. Ominously, it observed

There have been two sustained periods of warming, one beginning around 1910 and ending around 1945, and the most recent beginning about 1976. Temperatures during the latter period of warming have increased at a rate comparable to the rates of warming projected to occur during the next century with continued increases of anthropogenic greenhouse gases.

It's easy to understand why many Americans would question whether the earth is warming. Canada and the United States (especially the north-central U.S.A.) were among the few regions with below-average temperatures in 2009. And it currently is mid-winter, an easy time to imagine that it is cooling, not warming. But as Limbaugh no doubt understands, but would never admit, there are both temporal and regional anomalies in temperature. And the mid-term and long-term trends are up, up, up.

1 comment:

Greg said...

Do you think Rush Limbaugh really understands meteorology? He undeniably has a tremendous following, but he must be drunk on his own lack of research on matters such as these by now.

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