Skip to content

Climate

Warming to it (globally)

by Dave Armstrong 07 Dec 2011
Warming to it (globally)

Global temperatures via Shutterstock

The almost linear increase in global mean temperature since 1979 has been mapped out by Grant Foster of Tempo Analytica in the US and Stefan Rahmstorf from the Potsdam institute for Climate Impact Research, thanks to the satellite microwave-sensor imagery, available since that date.

Comparing surface based records with the microwave sensors improved reliability as the lower troposphere and near surface temperatures are strongly related. Nevertheless, useful insights were possible from such a comparison. The three main causes of of short-term temperature variation are known to be:

the El Nino or ENSO oscillation;

volcanic eruptions; and

solar cycles and similar solar variation.

Less noisy data were achieved by largely removing these influences as independent measures of each can be obtained. This led to meaningful results concerning their influence on mean temperatures, instead of simply recording their short-term effect.

Five of the best-known global temperature measures, from the US and the UK, were analysed by Grant and Stefan.

Figure 1. Five major global temperature records.

All five data sets give warming rates which are consistent with one another. The largest difference is between the GISS and UAH data, but the difference fails statistical significance testing. Even so, the two lowest rates are for LT temperature while the three highest are for surface temperature. This suggests the possibility that the LT is warming more slowly than the surface, although we reiterate that such a suggestion is not supported with statistical significance

All five data sets give warming rates which are consistent with one another. The largest difference is between the GISS and UAH data, but the difference fails statistical significance testing. Even so, the two lowest rates are for LT temperature while the three highest are for surface temperature. This suggests the possibility that the LT is warming more slowly than the surface, although we reiterate that such a suggestion is not supported with statistical significance; Credit: Tempo Analytica/Potsdam institute for Climate Impact Research

Using regression analysis, the adjusted data looked like this! The correlations from such widely gathered results show a great amount of agreement.

Using regression analysis, the adjusted data looked like this! The correlations from such widely gathered results show a great amount of agreement

Annual averages of the adjusted data; Credit: Tempo Analytica/Potsdam institute for Climate Impact Research

Looking for changes in the rate over time, there were none to alter the "monotonous increase" in temperatures.

Influences of ENSO, volcanoes and solar variations showed the following results:

Influences of ENSO, volcanoes and solar variations results

Influence of exogenous factors on global temperature for GISS (blue) and RSS data (red). (a) MEI; (b) AOD; (c) TSI; Credit: Tempo Analytica/Potsdam institute for Climate Impact Research

Enso (El Nino) turns out to be more of an influence than volcanic effects and both are more effective than the influence of solar variation. MEI is the multivariate el Nino index, AOD is the aerosol optical depth (volcanic dust measurement) and TSI is the total solar irradiance.

From such a comprehensive data set, we can conclude that known factors influence in the short term, while lower troposphere temperatures are influenced by them to a much greater extent than surface temperatures. We can observe now a Global Warming Signal, by isolating these effects, due predominantly to factors which are not measured here. There are only a very few possibilities. No organism is able to influence climate as much as human industry (in the widest sense). These 32 years have witnessed a remarkably steady rate of warming, with only natural causes deviating briefly from that (anthropogenically created) rate. Like a signal from "inner space", the authors have given us this true global warming data set:

These 32 years have witnessed a remarkably steady rate of warming, with only natural causes deviating briefly from that (anthropogenically created) rate. Like a signal from

Credit: Tempo Analytica/Potsdam institute for Climate Impact Research

Like it or not, we seem to be the only possible cause of the malaise. The next few decades can only see furtherance of the steady increase in degrees and decline in our global stability. Think sea levels, ice loss and species decline. If you want a positive, be relieved that at least there is no acceleration in global warming. Yet!


Trending Eco-Friendly Clothing

Love My Planet Women's Relaxed Fit Hoodie
Earth
Quick Add
Close
Notify me
Notify me
Love My Planet Women's Relaxed Fit Hoodie
Love My Planet women's eco-friendly relaxed fit hoodieSize Guide Centimeters 8 10 12 14 16 18 Bust 84 88 92 97 103 108 Waist 66 70 75 80 85 91 Hips 91 95 99 104 109 116 Bust: Measure around the fullest part of...
£38.00
£38.00
Close
Notify me
Notify me
Penguins Hate Push-Ups Men's Pullover Hoodie
Earth
Quick Add
Close
Notify me
Notify me
Penguins Hate Push-Ups Men's Pullover Hoodie
Penguins Hate Push-Ups men's eco-friendly pullover HoodieSize Guide Centimeters XS S M L XL XXL Height 171 175 179 183 189 195 Chest 86 93 99 104 116 129 Waist 71 76 81 89 99 112 Chest: Measure all round your chest just below...
£38.00
£38.00
Close
Notify me
Notify me
Lightning Bolt Kids Long Sleeve T-Shirt
Earth
Quick Add
Close
Notify me