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Image source: NOAA.

I am not a climatologist, but these recent data from The National Oceanic Atmospheric Association (NOAA) got my attention.

There has been much discussion about “global warming,” but relatively little attention has been given to a more descriptive term: “global weirding,” coined by The New York Times reporter Thomas Freidman. There have been extreme shifts, colder and hotter, both in the air and in the oceans, and data from 2010 is a record.

One report concludes:

The race is over and the results are in: 2010 tied with 2005 for the title of the warmest year on record, according to separate reports by NOAA and NASA today.

Consider this graph from today’s The New York Times:

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And these images from NOAA: These ranges represent anomalies from historical data.

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The range from blue to red represents 5 degrees cooler to 5 degrees hotter of the sea surface temperature, with white representing no change.

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The range from dark green to reddish brown represents 220 millimeters lower or higher of the sea surface height, a little less than 9 inches.

Discussions abound about which factors are driving these changes, but the data tell a very clear story consistent with “global weirding.”

Comments

  1. #1 Richard
    January 13, 2011

    Global warming is fake, its scientifically proven that it isnt real, its a lie, a sham, climate change is the real word, because turns out, its getting colder

  2. #2 Jeff
    January 13, 2011

    Please explain how this data supports that “its getting colder”? Nature tends to go towards equilibrium.

  3. #3 Rhea
    January 13, 2011

    Richard, when 2010 tied 2005 for the hottest year on record, despite a solar minimum and El NiƱo which would have made it cooler, when global temperatures have been above the 20th century average for the past 34 consecutive years, and when nine of the ten hottest years on record have come since 2000, please explain to us how it’s “getting colder”.

    Here are some of my sources:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jan/12/2010-joint-warmest-on-record
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/12/AR2011011204692.html
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41040418/ns/us_news-environment/

  4. #4 Andrew Dodds
    January 14, 2011

    Richard –

    Yes, why didn’t I see this before? Glaciers always melt in the cold, the Arctic ice cap is shrinking because of the cold, thermometers are registering hotter temperatures because of the cold…

  5. #5 Clam
    January 14, 2011

    its scientifically proven that it isnt real, its a lie, a sham,

    … and I know that because Steven Milloy said so, and he’s the greatest scientist in the world ….

    So there!

  6. #6 Jeff
    January 14, 2011

    Who??

  7. #7 Chris Smalley
    January 15, 2011

    Errr, in regards to last comment…Global warming isn’t fake, but the cause is unknown. The chance that global warming is caused by carbon dioxide is extremely unlikely, due to the fact that global warming (and glaciation) cause excess levels of ,naturally occurring, CO2. Historically speaking, the carbon dioxide levels of the atmosphere were much much higher, for example, the precambrian era, had the highest estimated levels…The result? A massive evolution of plant life…nothing more. Ok? Also, historically speaking, an increase of temperature, results in an increase of co2, and surprisingly, after periods of glaciation, also, CO2 levels were increased…So which came first? Global warming, or CO2 increase? How about this, we set “climate science” on the skirting board for a second, and apply a little bit of logic to the problem…How could increased CO2 levels, become evident, after periods of warming and cooling? The answer, is vegetation. The warming, causes vegetation to dehydrate, and easy to burn/decompose (releasing CO2), and the glaciation, causes vegetation to die (thus decomposing (and releasing CO2) and not remove an adequate amount of CO2, from the atmosphere)….So, What caused the glaciation?…LOL…That would be atmospheric particulates. At this point, I would like to offer an opinion. The Gaiia theory is only applicable to human civilisation….Everything in the “Natural world” is cyclic (think Einsteins tail eating snake, spinning through the void, devouring itself at exactly the same rate at which it grows). So, the cycle here would be (for want of a point to start, lets start at the global warming) global warming/dehydrated vegetation/ decomposing and burning vegetation/ excess CO2 and particulates (these particulates being cellulosic ash i/e ash from dehydrated cellular materials (which tend to be “light coloured” when dry, and darker when damp (reflecting solar energies during the day, and insulating in the cool of night)…just to differntiate from “soot” produced by fossil fuels, which tend to be oily sticky “black” stuffs)/ Global cooling/ glaciation/ increased CO2/ dissipation of particulates (LoCE ensures that they return to earth)/renewal of vegetation/reduction of CO2/Further dissipation of particulates…..and back to global warming.

    I don’t think I need to explain more of this (If you are reading science pages, then you most likely be able to see the ramifications I have pointed out), but just for the sake of a debate, What would happen to cold blooded lifeforms i/e dinosaurs, if Pangaea had burnt in a year? LOL, it would explain the relatively few remains…and the ensuing iceage (well, moreso than a meteor)

  8. #8 Ambitwistor
    January 15, 2011

    Chris,

    I can’t tell whether your rambling post is wrong, or just incoherent.

    Errr, in regards to last comment…Global warming isn’t fake, but the cause is unknown.

    An absurd statement at odds with the last several decades worth of research.

    The chance that global warming is caused by carbon dioxide is extremely unlikely, due to the fact that global warming (and glaciation) cause excess levels of ,naturally occurring, CO2.

    This sounds like a garbled version of the fact that, in the Quaternary glacial-interglacial cycles, changes in temperature caused changes in CO2. This is true. It is also true that changes in CO2 cause changes in temperature. There is a feedback cycle. The glacial-interglacial cycles are unexplainable without the climatic effects of CO2.

    Historically speaking, the carbon dioxide levels of the atmosphere were much much higher

    This is true. Temperatures were also generally much warmer, as expected, since CO2 causes global warming.

    for example, the precambrian era, had the highest estimated levels…The result?

    A large greenhouse effect.

    Also, historically speaking, an increase of temperature, results in an increase of co2, and surprisingly, after periods of glaciation, also, CO2 levels were increased…So which came first? Global warming, or CO2 increase?

    I don’t even know what “periods” you’re talking about. If you’re talking about the Quaternary glacial-interglacial cycle, what happens is that changes in insolation lead to changes in temperature, which cause changes in CO2, which cause further changes in temperature. “Which came first” doesn’t actually address the relevant question, which is “How much warming does CO2 cause”.

    How could increased CO2 levels, become evident, after periods of warming and cooling? The answer, is vegetation.

    Actually, most of the CO2 changes come from the ocean.

    So, What caused the glaciation?…LOL…That would be atmospheric particulates.

    Mostly it’s changs in insolation due to orbital variations. Particulates change, like dust, but that’s a feedback loop, like CO2.

  9. #9 Jake
    January 15, 2011

    I wonder, why is 2010 compared in the top image to “1971-2000″ base period? Why not “1971-2010″?

  10. #10 Ambitwistor
    January 16, 2011

    The choice of base period depends on what comparison you want to make. A base period ending in 2000 suggests that the plot was made to demonstrate the changes that have taken place just in the last decade.

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