Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Record-Breaking Temperatures Seen As Evidence Of Faster Rate Of Global Warming

Date:
February 23, 2000
Source:
American Geophysical Union
Summary:
Researchers at the National Climate Data Center have found evidence that the rate of global warming is accelerating. In the past 25 years it achieved the rate previously predicted for the 21st Century. A string of unprecedented record high global temperatures marked 1997 and 1998.

WASHINGTON - Researchers at NOAA's National Climate Data Center (NCDC) have found evidence that the rate of global warming is accelerating and that in the past 25 years it achieved the rate of two degrees Celsius (four degrees Fahrenheit) per century. This rate had previously been predicted for the 21st Century.

Writing in the March 1 issue of Geophysical Research Letters, Dr. Thomas R. Karl, Director of NCDC, and colleagues analyze recent temperature data. They focus particularly on the years 1997 and 1998, during which a string of 16 consecutive months saw record high global mean average temperatures. This, Karl notes, was unprecedented since instruments began systematically recording temperature in the 19th Century. During much of 1998, records set just the previous year were broken.

Karl and his colleagues conclude that there is only a one-in-20 chance that the string of record high temperatures in 1997-1998 was simply an unusual event, rather than a change point, the start of a new and faster ongoing trend. Since completing the research, the data for 1999 have been compiled. They found that 1999 was the fifth warmest year on record, although as a La Nina year it would normally be cooler. Outside the band between 20 degrees north latitude and 20 degrees south latitude, 1999 was the second warmest year of the 20th Century, just behind 1998, an El Nino year.

The researchers at NCDC, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), based in Asheville, North Carolina, analyzed data from land based and satellite instruments for their study. They conclude that the rate of warming since 1976 is clearly greater than the average rate over the late 19th and 20th Centuries. To account for the string of record setting temperatures, the average rate of global temperature increase since 1976 would have to be three degrees Celsius (five degrees Fahrenheit) per century.

In its Second Assessment Report in 1995, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projected the rate of warming for the 21st Century to be between one and 3.5 degrees Celsius (two and six degrees Fahrenheit). Karl and his colleagues have already observed over the past 25 years a rate that is between two and three degrees Celsius (four and five degrees Fahrenheit) per century. The IPCC study used a "business as usual" scenario with regard to manmade influences on climate, such as carbon dioxide and other atmospheric constituents.

Karl and his colleagues are not ready to say with certainty that the rate of global warming has suddenly increased, because they recognize that unusual events sometimes happen. There is strong evidence, they say, that the faster rate of climate change since 1976 is human-induced. Given the steady increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases and the length of time, ranging from decades to centuries, that they remain in the atmosphere, they urge that studies be conducted to enable society to minimize the risks of climate change and prepare for more, and perhaps even more rapid, changes to come.

###


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Geophysical Union. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Geophysical Union. "Record-Breaking Temperatures Seen As Evidence Of Faster Rate Of Global Warming." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 February 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/02/000222103553.htm>.
American Geophysical Union. (2000, February 23). Record-Breaking Temperatures Seen As Evidence Of Faster Rate Of Global Warming. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/02/000222103553.htm
American Geophysical Union. "Record-Breaking Temperatures Seen As Evidence Of Faster Rate Of Global Warming." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/02/000222103553.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Volcano Erupts on Papua New Guinea

Raw: Volcano Erupts on Papua New Guinea

AP (Aug. 29, 2014) — Several communities were evacuated and some international flights were diverted on Friday after one of the most active volcanos in the region erupts. (Aug. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) — State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Have Figured Out Why Rocks Move In Death Valley

Scientists Have Figured Out Why Rocks Move In Death Valley

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) — The mystery of the moving rocks in Death Valley, California, has finally been solved. Scientists are pointing to a combo of water, ice and wind. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Big Waves, Minor Flooding from Hurricane

Big Waves, Minor Flooding from Hurricane

AP (Aug. 27, 2014) — Thundering surf spawned by Hurricane Marie pounded the Southern California coast Wednesday, causing minor flooding in a low-lying beach town. High surf warnings were posted for Los Angeles County south through Orange County. (Aug. 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins