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NASA Says 2010 Tied For Warmest Year On Record 554

Posted by timothy
from the try-the-sunscreen-it's-delicious dept.
An anonymous reader writes "It may not seem like it, but 2010 has tied 2005 as the warmest year since people have been keeping records, according to data from NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York. The two years differed by less than 0.018 degrees Fahrenheit. That difference is so small that it puts them in a statistical tie. In the new analysis, the next warmest years are 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2007, which are statistically tied for third warmest year. The GISS records begin in 1880." Adds jamie: "This was the 34th consecutive year with global temperatures above the 20th century average — 0.62 +/- 0.07 C above, to be precise. It was the wettest year on record too, according to the Global Historical Climatology Network."
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NASA Says 2010 Tied For Warmest Year On Record

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, 2011 @06:48PM (#34869532)

    You think man can destroy the earth? What intoxicating vanity. Let me tell you about our planet. Earth is four-and-a-half-billion-years-old. There's been life on it for nearly that long, 3.8 billion years. Bacteria first; later the first multicellular life, then the complex creatures in the sea, on the land.

    ...

    When oxygen was first produced as a waste product by certain plant cells some three billion years ago, it created a crisis for all other life on earth. Those plants were polluting the environment, exhaling a lethal gas. Earth eventually had an atmosphere incompatible with life. Nevertheless, life on earth took care of itself. In the thinking of the human being a hundred years is a long time.

    A hundred years ago we didn't have cars, airplanes, computers or vaccines. It was a whole different world, but to the earth, a hundred years is nothing. A million years is nothing. This planet lives and breathes on a much vaster scale. We can't imagine its slow and powerful rhythms, and we haven't got the humility to try. We've been residents here for the blink of an eye. If we're gone tomorrow, the earth will not miss us.

    --Michael Crichton, Prologue to Jurassic Park, 1990

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, 2011 @07:14PM (#34869912)
    Agreed...

    The analysis produced at GISS is compiled from weather data from more than 1,000 meteorological stations around the world, satellite observations of sea surface temperature and Antarctic research station measurements.

    Since we have more than 1,000 met stations in our state alone it sounds like there's been some cherry-picking going on here.

  • by pspahn (1175617) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @07:45PM (#34870524)

    A brief anecdote from current events. Western North American pine forests are being decimated by pine beetles that are thriving due to rising temperatures. Their historic range has grown because a lack of an adequately lengthy freeze during the winter is allowing them to live longer.

    As a result, forests are turning gray and falling. The ecosystems they support are waning. Without tree coverage, snow melt will happen earlier and be more abrupt. Water typically stored in reservoirs will instead just flow downstream and into the ocean (unless we retrofit reservoirs to handle more capacity). This can also ultimately lead to desertification. It's also worth noting that millions of acres of decomposing trees releases quite a bit of CO2.

    So, while it may be great for specific forms of agriculture in specific areas, there will also undoubtedly be terrible catastrophes caused by rising temperatures, and they have already begun.

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