2008 – a not so hot year compared to the last few, but ….. it looks like the only way is up! This is the global temperature trend since the industrial revolution.
Maybe we’re so used to hearing about global warming, the 7th warmest year on record doesn’t sound so bad. But remember most of the other warmest years have all occurred since 1998 – as you can see in the chart above.
These figures have been compiled and were released yesterday by NASA’s Goddard Institute and the World Meterological Organisation.
According to James E Hansen of the Goddard Institute, we’re building a blanket of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere which will take a long time to turn around. Hansen is a campaigner for immediate and significant cuts in emissions. Otherwise he says we run the risk of the Earth becoming “a different planet” from the one humans have experienced for thousands of years. (Source: The New York Times ‘Dot Earth’ blog.)
Hansen is the guy who testified before the US Congress 20 years ago and explained that the world was heading toward dangerous climate change and we needed to do something about it.
And what response have we had from politicians since 1988? This Greenpeace TV commercial sums up two decades of our leaders leading on climate change.
Here’s a short ABC news story on the outspoken James Hansen.
And check out this more detailed doco from the PBS TV network in the US Frontline: ‘Global warming – is it getting warmer?’ Yes, the science is in, but there’s still skeptics. (Not sure the IPCC has convinced Barnaby Joyce.)
Recent related articles:
Glut of hot years a coincidence? Fat chance (New Scientist)
‘Believe it or not, this was the tenth hottest year (in the UK)’ (The Independent).
2008 colder than previous years but world still warming (Yahoo Green)