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World warming since ´80s, data show

Ottawa Citizen
Louise Gray

The world is “unequivocally” getter hotter and has been for more than 30 years, according to the most comprehensive study of temperature readings from the top of the atmosphere to the bottom of the ocean. The report, compiled by the British Met Office and its United States equivalent, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), provides the “greatest evidence we have ever had” to support global warming, researchers say.

They forecast this year will be the hottest on record, globally.

Usually, scientists rely on the temperature over land, taken from weather stations, to gauge whether the climate is changing. Yesterday’s State of the Climate report, however, brings together data from 10 separate indicators stretching back 150 years, including measurements of sea level rise taken from ships, the temperature of the upper atmosphere taken from weather balloons and field surveys of melting glaciers. New technology also means it is possible to measure the temperature of the oceans, which absorb 90 per cent of the world’s heat.

Seven of the 10 factors measured, including air and sea surface temperatures, the amount of heat in the ocean and humidity, had rising figures. Three factors – the extent of Arctic sea ice, glaciers, and winter snow cover in the northern hemisphere – were in decline. According to the researchers, the study shows “unequivocally that the world is warming and has been for more than three decades.” Despite the cold winter in Europe and northeastern North America, this year is set to be the hottest on record. The NOAA has stated the first six months of this year were the hottest on record, while the Met Office believes it is the second-hottest start to the year after 1998.

“Greenhouse gases are the glaringly obvious explanation” for the 1 degree F (0.56C) rise in average global temperatures over the past 50 years,” said Peter Stott, head of climate monitoring and attribution at the Met Office. “Despite the fact people say global warming has stopped, the new data, added on to existing data, give us the greatest evidence we have ever had.”

Climate change skeptics have questioned global warming in the wake of the “climategate” scandal. It was claimed that emails stolen from the University of East Anglia show scientists were willing to manipulate the land surface temperatures to show global warming. The scientists were cleared in an independent inquiry. But Stott said skeptics could no longer question land surface temperature, as other records also prove global warming.

He said each indicator takes independent evidence from at least three different institutions. Despite variations from year to year, each decade has been warmer than the last since the 1980s. “When we follow independent analyses from around the world, we see clear and unmistakable signs of a warming world,” he said.

El contenido de las noticias que se presentan en esta sección es responsabilidad directa de las agencias emisoras de noticias y no necesariamente reflejan la posición del Gobierno de México en este u otros temas relacionados.


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