Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Global warming 'not slowing down,' say researchers

Date:
December 5, 2011
Source:
Institute of Physics
Summary:
Researchers have added further clarity to the global climate trend, proving that global warming is showing no signs of slowing down and that further increases are to be expected in the next few decades.

Researchers have added further clarity to the global climate trend, proving that global warming is showing no signs of slowing down and that further increases are to be expected in the next few decades.

They revealed the true global warming trend by bringing together and analysing the five leading global temperature data sets, covering the period from 1979 to 2010, and factoring out three of the main factors that account for short-term fluctuations in global temperature: El Niño,volcanic eruptions and variations in the Sun's brightness.

After removing these known short-term fluctuations, the researchers, statisticians and climate experts from Tempo Analytics and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, showed that the global temperature has increased by 0.5°C in the past 30 years. In all of the five global data sets, 2009 and 2010 were the two hottest years. In the average over all five data sets, 2010 is the hottest year on record.

Their study, published Dec. 6 in IOP Publishing's journal Environmental Research Letters, comes at a time when global warming is at the forefront of the political agenda, with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) currently taking place in Durban.

It is well known that temperatures have been rising since the early 20th Century and the effects have become visible in shrinking mountain glaciers, accelerating ice loss and sea level rise. In recent years, however, there have been claims by some that the global warming trend has slowed or even paused over the last decade or so.

"Our approach shows that the idea that the global warming trend has slowed or even paused over the last decade or so is a groundless misconception. It shows that differences between the five data sets reside, to a large extent, in their short-term variability and not in the climatic trend. After the variability is removed, all five data sets are very similar," said study co-author Stefan Rahmstorf.

As global temperatures are constantly being measured by several different scientific teams, each adopting different methods for dealing with their data, it is clear that no single record is free of complications, uncertainties and corrections.

By bringing together and analysing the five records -- three surface records and two lower-troposphere records -- the researchers were able to clarify the discrepancies between each one and, when factoring out the naturally occurring variability, show the excellent agreement between all five data sets.

The three surface temperature data sets analysed by the researchers were from NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Hadley Centre/Climate Research Unit in the UK. Data representing the lower troposphere temperatures was based on satellite microwave sensors.

El Niño is a naturally and irregularly occurring warming of surface ocean waters in the eastern tropical Pacific, whilst solar variation is the change in the amount of radiation emitted by the sun, dominated by an approximately 11-year-long cycle. Volcanic eruptions predominantly have a cooling effect lasting a few years, due to the very tiny erupted particles and droplets shielding light from hitting Earth.

"The unabated warming is powerful evidence that we can expect further temperature increase in the next few decades, emphasizing the urgency of confronting the human influence on the climate," says Grant Foster, lead author of the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Institute of Physics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Grant Foster, Stefan Rahmstorf. Global temperature evolution 1979–2010. Environmental Research Letters, 2011; 6 (4): 044022 DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/6/4/044022

Cite This Page:

Institute of Physics. "Global warming 'not slowing down,' say researchers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 December 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111205191724.htm>.
Institute of Physics. (2011, December 5). Global warming 'not slowing down,' say researchers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111205191724.htm
Institute of Physics. "Global warming 'not slowing down,' say researchers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111205191724.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Waves In Arctic Ocean Threaten Polar Ice

Big Waves In Arctic Ocean Threaten Polar Ice

Newsy (July 30, 2014) — Big waves in parts of the Arctic Ocean are unprecedented, mainly because they used to be covered in ice. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) — Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

AP (July 30, 2014) — A ruptured 93-year-old water main left the UCLA campus awash in 8 million gallons of water in the middle of California's worst drought in decades. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast

In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast

AP (July 30, 2014) — Every summer, tourists make the pilgrimage to Chincoteague Island, Va. to see wild ponies cross the Assateague Channel. But, it's the rockets sending to supplies to the International Space Station that are making this a year-round destination. (July 30) 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