If you weren’t sure whether the planet was still warming, you should know that NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies reported the second hottest July on record, which follows the second hottest June on record. The July report should be out in a few days. For now, here’s the June anomalies:
The geographic distribution of the warming continues to be worrisome. Climate Progress explains why:
- NOAA recently reported: “Methane levels rose in 2008 for the second consecutive year after a 10-year lull,”
- Scientific analysis suggests the rise in 2007 methane levels came from Arctic wetlands (seehere).
- Siberia contains probably the world’s largest amount of carbon locked away in the permafrost (see here).
- The permafrost is increasingly not so perma (see here).
- Much of that carbon would be released as methane, which is 23 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.
We can safely say that this will be the hottest decade in recorded history, and if the El Nino continues to mature as NOAA predicts, we could even see the next global temperature record in the next 1-2 years.
Even more ominous are the water temperatures; July’s were the warmest in over a century of record-keeping. Near the Arctic, water temperatures are as much as 12 degrees above average. This is worrisome, because water takes longer to heat up and does not cool off as easily as land.
So, when you hear people criticizing the movement to cut GHG emissions, remember this: The cutting edge of research consistently indicates that global warming is happening quickly, getting worse, and must be decreased.