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:
And these images from NOAA: These ranges represent anomalies from historical data.
The range from blue to red represents 5 degrees cooler to 5 degrees hotter of the sea surface temperature, with white representing no change.
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.”